ALL UPDATES AS OF 12/28:
Contact info - note to correct spelling
1001 State Street
Erie, PA 16501
Phone: (814) 636-0181
Hours should also be displayed at bottom of page near contact info:
Sunday by appointment only
Tuesday 5:00pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00am - 8:00pm
Thursday 10:00am - 8:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 2:00pm
since we have a higher word count than planned, the layout might need to be adjusted a bit to fit.
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What is Vibrational Sound Therapy? - main header
Byline 1: How does VST work?
Vibrational Sound Therapy (VST) employs powerful audible tones to induce an immediate relaxed state. Direct induction of sound waves into the body, along with soothing ambient tones, is such a strong treatment that clients report effects ranging from a meditative state to deep relaxation. Because of this VST is often called vibrational sound massage.
The techniques associated with VST have certain advantages over traditional massage. During VST the client remains fully clothed and is never touched directly by the practitioner which offers a comfort level that many appreciate. The singing bowl is doing most of the physical work. VST involves none of the bodily manipulation in traditional hands-on massage and will never leave the client feeling sore.
Byline 2: What happens during a VST session?
Vibrational Sound Therapy (VST) has profound effects on the body and the mind. The VST discipline is above all a method of relaxation, and most people will reach this relaxed state quickly, even during their first session. During a VST session or “sound massage” the body will go through noticeable changes as it responds to deeper and deeper states of rest. Relaxation is not only a physical state but also a state of consciousness, and VST has very strong effects on alertness and acuity of perception. Relaxation during a VST session conjures brain states from the same family as yoga, tai chi, and meditation (or prayer). One of your therapist’s main preoccupations will be the body’s physiological responses to relaxation and how they relate to brain-wave activity in order to dynamically adapt the selection and sequence of sounds to your particular sensibilities. Your feedback, especially during initial sessions, is vital to that process.
Most clients will start to relax as soon as the session begins. Their muscles will lose tension, and they may even start to slip into the alpha brain wave pattern within the first minutes. The alpha wave pattern is associated with daydreaming and pre-sleep. At this point the client’s breathing and heart rate will start to slow as the body begins to absorb the sound waves into its tissues. Slowed breathing and reduced muscle tension are both signs that the metabolism is slowing. Insulin levels will rise and cholesterol levels will fall. As the heart rate slows, blood pressure falls and arteries expand, which normally causes a feeling of warmth. This relaxed state allows the body to repair itself instead of responding first to outside concerns; the immune system prioritizes its tasks best when we’re physically calm.
VST is so gentle and relaxing that almost all people will fall asleep at some point during the session. The theta brainwave state is typical of meditation, sleep, and deep relaxation. The delta brain state is a deeper form of sleep, often associated with hypnosis and religious ritual. During normal sleep, people will oscillate between both of these states, theta and delta. The brain wave state of clients undergoing a sound massage will change naturally, and in reaction to the modality, as positions are changed, and different bowls are introduced. Small tremors or shakes are common as people enter and exit the theta/delta brain rhythms. Some of these movements may be sudden and strong.
Those who undergo a state of deep relaxation often report a feeling of mental freshness that they carry with them after the session is over. Relaxation and meditative states of mind have also been shown to increase the threshold for emotional response, meaning they can help us control our emotional responses to outside influences. Like other kinds of meditation, sound massage can help us be more internally aware, while being more present in the moment, and more connected with our surroundings.
Services and booking:
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75 minute session - $140
50 minute session-$100
25 minute session-$50
10 minute session -$25
75 minute couple session $210
50 minute couples session$150
25 minute couples session$75
“250 minute” package: 5x 50-minute sessions or 10x 25-minute sessions: $400 (20% discount)
“500 minute” package: 10x 50 minute sessions or 20x 25-minute sessions: $700 (30% discount)
All packages include an optional one-hour consultation to develop a treatment plan.
Corporate Group Discounts: on-site 10-minute grounding treatments for 10-50 employees
Additional notes for this page:
Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to check in and fill out necessary paperwork.
You will be fully clothed during your session.
To preserve a peaceful experience for everyone, we ask that you turn off all your wireless devices.
Please contact to make arrangements for groups of 3 or more.
We necessarily have a strict cancellation policy. Please notify us if you need to cancel or reschedule with 24+ hours notice to avoid a $20 charge.
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"book an appointment" button: can replace "join our sessions"
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Research and resources:
Main page byline:
Benefits of and physical phenomena behind sound therapy
Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being:
An Observational Study -- University of California San Diego Study
To assess impacts on participants’ levels of physical pain, patients were asked to describe their pain before and just after sound therapy. Twenty-nine participants reported experiencing physical pain pre-meditation. If experiencing pain, they were asked to rate their pain on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 representing ‘‘very slight discomfort’’ and 5 representing ‘‘extremely painful’’) then describe the pain and location on the body. Participants aged 40 to 59 years registered the most significant pain relief, with a reduction (or elimination) of physical pain post-meditation, with a baseline mean pain rating of 2.00 and a posttreatment mean pain rating of 0.79.
Music as Medicine -- American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology
Literature and research survey for psychology professionals discussing results from JAMA Pediatrics, Trends in Cognitive Science, Progress in Palliative Care, NeuroRehabilitation, and other peer-reviewed medical journals.
a study at Beth Israel Medical Center of 272 premature babies whose heart rates relaxed in response to various musical stimuli
a University of Alberta study of 42 children who reported “significantly less pain” during IV insertion in the presence of relaxing music
A Laurier University study of Parkinson’s patients who showed “less rigidity, better walking speed with bigger steps, and reduced tremors” after being exposed to low-frequency 30Hz vibrations for one minute
http://math.mit.edu/~bush/?p=328 -- Wave Demonstration of Water in a Singing Bowl, MIT Math Department
The Department of Mathematics at MIT rendered singing bowl waves visible by filling them with water and then modeled the water’s behavior using techniques from fluid dynamics. What they discovered is that singing bowls have acoustic properties not unlike a wine glass, but with extremely low vibration frequency (meaning, shorter-amplitude waves that can pass through, and thus interact with, solid bodies more easily). Their detection of Faraday waves at the bowl’s rim (or water’s surface) suggested analogies with quantum processes. Put simply, in trying to analyze “what forces sound out of a bowl and how can we do math on it?” they graphically depicted and hydrodynamically modeled a geyser-like eruption of sonic energy. They were able to make droplets “walk along the surface” of a singing bowl and described the behaviors in terms most closely associated with the mysteries of dark matter/energy.
What is Vibrational Sound Therapy and what is a VST session?
Vibrational Sound Therapy (“VST”) or "Sound Massage" uses therapeutic bowls designed to generate a refined, pure tone, and strong vibrations. A therapeutic session involves a sequence of resonant sounds customized for you by the therapist to induce and sustain a meditative relaxation.
Is this the same as Tibetan singing bowls?
It's similar in that it draws on the same ancient wisdom and insights about the meditative benefits of acoustic resonance, with two big distinctions. Firstly, therapeutic singing bowls are made from alloys meant to produce higher volume and purer tones than Tibetan singing bowls. Secondly, the cleaner and more refined sounds allow a sound therapist to develop arrangements and experiences with more technical granularity and personal customization than Tibetan singing bowls, whose more subdued and symphonic sounds tend to supply ready-made experiences. Our discipline can be thought of as secular and technically customized versus the more traditional and spiritualized Tibetan approach.
What will I experience during my session?
Generally you'll begin to relax within minutes. You may even fall asleep. Those who stay awake report tension and anxiety fading, and a deep meditative state. The common thread running through all these experiences is a dissociative emotional peace.
How should I expect to feel afterwards?
A lot has to do with the state you were in when you began the session. Exhausted people tend to experience extremely refreshing sleep afterwards, stressed out people describe the lifting of emotional weight. Because we get so busy in life we often forget to feel immediately and in the moment, it's not unusual for a client who just underwent a session to be laughing, crying, joyful and energized and yet also sleepy, as forgotten senses percolate back to the surface. Intensity of emotion is typical but after that first burst most people enjoy sustained calm observable for several days.
This sounds invasive.
Quite the contrary. You will lie flat on a massage table, fully clothed at all times. Bowls are placed on your body (e.g., abdomen) but you can opt to have them beside you on the table instead. Despite the emotional intensity we described above most people are fine to return to their desks at work after a midday session. Enhanced mental clarity is a common benefit of a treatment in parallel to the emotional responses.
So the only way to know this worked is a flood of confusing emotions?
No, that just happens to be a fairly common experience during the first couple treatments. Best not to be surprised by it. VST acts on brain waves in subtle ways: some of those produce same day improvements in mood and sleep quality, and other effects, like emotional resilience and durable calm, are more cumulative. Individual responses are as varied as personalities and life stories.
What conditions are treated most effectively?
In our experience over a decade of developing acoustic therapies we've seen the most success treating insomnia, anxiety, depression, and PTSD in adults and children. Children with attention deficit disorders and autism are particularly responsive to the calming effects of VST. Sufferers from chronic pain for whom manual massage is too painful or invasive -- especially nerve or spine damage and acute neurological conditions -- report relief from pain. There is also an active contingent with no specific chronic complaint who instead look for soothing "me time" in the workday slot they otherwise use for a gym visit or lunch with a friend.
Please add a "testimonials" page with a basic layout like FAQ.
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We will provide photos of our office space soon - can we do a scrolling/ slideshow box for the photos?
Will provide photos soon.
PICTURE Gale Simon, Owner and Certified Vibrational Sound Therapist
PICTURE Sue Konzel, Certified Vibrational Sound Therapist
Acoustic Therapy Partners ("ATP") is headquartered in the Renaissance Centre in Erie, PA, with a dancing lake view 120 feet above the bustle of State Street. We are a woman-owned, family business with deep roots in the community. One of our signature initiatives is to offer deeply discounted services to needy populations through referral partnerships with local non-profits.
Raised on a farm in Harborcreek by our naturalist mother and craftsman father, we learned how to treat our own colds, aches, and pains with herbs from our field or forests before we ever heard of Tylenol. After lifetimes of growing natural remedies in our gardens and seeking out new methodologies to calm grumpy husbands and rambunctious kids, we discovered the gentle power of acoustic therapies and never looked back. ATP is our Second Act and updates all the wisdom of a refined ancient technique with a scientifically rigorous 21st century therapeutic approach.
Our goal is to offer each client a personalized, non-invasive treatment with sensitivity and compassion.
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Please add a box for text here - we will be doing a partnership with a local veterans association to offer discounted rates to veterans suffering from PTSD but the details are not finalized yet.
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